Valley’s youths come out in force to protest worsening traffic jams

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2018-

In a bid to mount pressure on the authorities concerned to resolve the worsening traffic congestions in Kathmandu Valley, various youths organisations have launched a campaign named ‘Public Demonstration to make Traffic Jam free city.’

Youth activists affiliated to 13 different organisaitons staged a joint rally in the Capital on Monday, putting forth a 12-point demand for curbing traffic jams in Kathmandu Valley. 

They have demanded that the government complete the road repair works soon, ensure effective implementation of traffic rules, build pedestrian-friendly footpaths, enough zebra crossing, construct enough overhead bridges, allocate separate road for two wheelers, promote the environment friendly vehicles, make enough investment on public vehicles and make an alternative route for VVIPS.

According to a report presented by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD)   the total length of the vehicles operating in the Kathmandu Valley is greater than the length of the roads.  The length of the road is 4.5 million feet, whereas the length of the vehicles has increased more than 7.2 million feet. 

“It’s high time that we pressured the government as the traffic problem is getting chronic each passing day,” said President of Youth Advocacy Nepal Narendra Khatiwada. 

Taking a swipe at political leaders’ tall poll promises of making the country prosperous, he asked, “How can we imagine a prosperous country when thousands of people are forced to spend so much of their time negotiating traffic congestions?”

According to the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), out of the total 2.78 million vehicles registered in the country, 1.04 million are in Bagmati zone. A total of 119,956 vehicles were registered in the Bagmati zone in the last fiscal alone. 

“We will go to the DoTM office, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and MTPD and press them to resolve the issue,” said Dharma Raj Ghimire, general secretary at YUWA, an organisation that is working in empowering youths in Nepal.  

The ever increasing traffic jams, disfunctional traffic lights, inadequate zebra crossings and overhead bridges mean people are at risk while crossing the roads in the Valley. Hardly half a dozen out of 365 traffic lights in the Valley are in proper working order, according to the MTPD.

In June last year, a school teacher died when she was hit by a bus while crossing the road from zebra crossing in Basudhara. A former government secretary was also killed under similar circumstances after being hit by a two-wheeler at Anamnagar. 

“The paints of zebra crossings have faded beyond recognition at a number of places across the Valley. With the number of traffic growing each day, crossing the roads are tantamount to going to a battlefield. said Anusha Shrestha, a student of Premier College, who was one of the participants in the campaign. “Now it’s high time that all of us raised our voice for resolving the issue of traffic jams.”

Published: 30-01-2018 07:48

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